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Peace Prize Prez Prepared to Pound

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Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say

Officials tell NBC News they have intelligence intercepts tying the chemical attacks to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The White House is now waiting for a report from the U.N. team that arrived at the attack site Monday. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

The U.S. could hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than to topple him or cripple his military, senior U.S. officials told NBC News on Tuesday.

The State Department fed the growing drumbeat around the world for a military response to Syria's suspected use of chemical weapons against rebels Aug. 21 near Damascus, saying that while the U.S. intelligence community would release a formal assessment within the week, it was already "crystal clear" that Assad's government was responsible.

Vice President Joe Biden went even further, bluntly telling an American Legion audience in Houston: "Chemical weapons have been used."

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the president's response in a speech to the American Legion.

"No one doubts that innocent men, women and children have been the victims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and there's no doubt who's responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in Syria: the Syrian regime," Biden said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated Tuesday that the White House isn't considering the deliberate overthrow of Assad.

"The options that we are considering are not about regime change," said during a daily briefing with reporters. "They are about responding to the clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons."

But Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., an influential voice on military matters, pressed the administration to go further, calling for the U.S. and its allies to provide weapons to "the resistance on the ground."

"The important part of this whole situation is, is this just going to be just a retaliatory strike that has no lasting impact or something that changes the momentum on the ground in Syria?" McCain told reporters in Mesa, Ariz., after an event on immigration reform.

Three days of airstrikes planned

Senior officials told NBC News that Defense Department planning had advanced to the point that three days of strikes were anticipated, after which strategists could run an assessment and target what was missed in further rounds.

Many Americans asked about the slaughter in Syria are torn as to how the U.S. should get involved. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.

U.S. missile strikes would almost certainly be launched from Navy destroyers or submarines in the Mediterranean Sea. The U.S. in recent days has moved destroyers closer to Syria, which sits on the sea's eastern edge, but that was mostly a symbolic move. U.S. Tomahawk missiles are so precise that they can hit not just buildings but also specific windows, and they could hit Syrian targets from far farther west in the Mediterranean.

Navy officials said four destroyers are lined up ready to strike: the USS Barry, the USS Mahan, the USS Ramage and the USS Gravely.

Tuesday, a fifth guided-missile destroyer, the USS Stout, also entered the Mediterranean, through the Straights of Gibraltar, but officials said it wouldn't take part in any cruise missile attack.

"The four destroyers now in place have more than enough cruise missiles," one official said.

Pressure for a response builds

Underscoring the urgency facing world leaders, British Prime Minister David Cameron called Parliament back from vacation and said it would vote on action Thursday, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military was "ready to go."

Monday, using forceful language, Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian chemical attacks were a "moral obscenity" and accused the Assad regime not just of having used chemical agents but also of having covered up the evidence.

On Tuesday, the U.N. said its investigating team in Syria would delay its next outing by a day, to Wednesday. The team came under fire from unidentified snipers Monday on its way to check out the site of a suspected chemical attack near Damascus, the capital.

Having fled the violence within Syria, nearly 2 million refugees, a million of them children, are living in refugee camps in Jordan. NBC News' Ann Curry reports.

In Cairo, the Arab League said it held Assad responsible for the suspected attack. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries condemned the use of unconventional weapons.

Support from the Arab League, even if limited, would provide crucial diplomatic cover for a Western strike on Syria. Action through the U.N. is unlikely because Russia, which supports the Assad regime, has a veto in the Security Council.

Some U.S. allies, notably Britain, have signaled that a limited strike could take place without Security Council approval. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it would be a "very grave violation of international law," and China said through its government-run news service that the U.S. must refrain from "hasty armed intervention."

In Syria, the top general in the Free Syria Army, the umbrella group comprising rebel factions, told NBC News' Richard Engel that airstrikes were necessary to stop Assad from launching even broader chemical attacks.

"If there is no action, we are afraid that in the coming days, not coming weeks, Bashar will use chemical weapons and chemical materials against very wide areas and, I'm afraid, to kill maybe 20,000 or 30,000 more people," he said.

Eric Baculinao, Baruch Ben-Chorin, Catherine Chomiak, Carrie Dann, Alastair Jamieson, Stacey Klein, Andrea Mitchell, Ron Simeone and Winstone Wilde of NBC News; Reuters; and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM
Replies (41-50):
kcangel63
by Amanda on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM
The problem in my mind is what happens if another country doesn't agree with what our government does to it's people. Would that give them the right to occupy and/or attack us?

I don't see how killing civilians (because many, many civilians will die) solves the problem with us not liking them killing their civilians.


Quoting gludwig2000:

I'm torn on this whole Syria thing, because while we are not the world's police, how do we stand by and watch such atrocities happen to helpless civilians, women and children? We can not afford another war, but can we afford to stand back and allow such to happen?
KenneMaw
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Personally, i do not believe we should interfere.  Let another country take the lead on blasting the chemical weapon warehouses in Syria.   The US has no business getting into this fight.  It is a civil war, not a regional war or world war.   These people have been fighting for thousands of years,,why are we so pompous to think we, the US, can bring peace?  

Syria will probably not retaliate with force, but with computer hacking. They have already taken credit for bringing down The NY Times website this week.  What if they get into the Wall Street, Bank of America, US Dept of Defense?!   My brother is a computer security expert and the allies of Syria - China, Russia, North Korea have rooms full of hackers - that is all they do, all day, all night.  What if they take down our computer networks - no more FB or CM .  Sorry that was a little flip, but you know, we can't save everyone.  We could make a case for almost every country in this world having some type of human rights violations.   The UN was created to help in these situations but they can't even confirm who used the chemical weapons - the rebels or the Syrian govt.   whose to say the rebels didn't use it in hopes of getting the West involved in this conflict?

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It's "civil" to denigrate America. OK.  I just suggested you live somewhere more to your liking. Totalitarian governments seem to better match your ideological standards. To each their own.

Au contraire. Chicago has not always had the highest crime rate in the country. But 60 years of liberal rule and more of corruption haven't helped.

Yes, most or all of the cities you mentioned have strict gun control laws and have been under primarily liberal rule for generations.

Obama has only been president for 5-1/2 years - just a drop in the bucket of years. Politicians can only be held responsible for the years they were in office - for O that would be during his presidency and in Illinois while he was US Senator and State Senator. 

It's flattering that you like to quote and highlight my comments  - I take it as a compliment.  :)

You have a great day.


Quoting denise3680:



Quoting SallyMJ:

Of course I bring up Chicago! - the most dangerous city in America - site of civil wars between citizens.

Why don't you bring it up yourself?

Doesn't knowing Chicago has the most murders - and the most black on black murders in the nation - concern you? Or are you interested in murders of only non-black people? Ironic how so many Chicago politicians want to run the country, but not their own city.

Any murder is the saddest thing of all - whether it is of an American or a foreigner.

My disagreement with Obama's values and policies is just freedom of speech. As are your disagreements with Bush. Disagreement and hate are two different things.

I only see one arrogant person in your rants - you. You might want to move to one of those totalitarian countries you like. They would love to have you and your tax revenue. Better than freedom any day, huh?  :)

Ha ha.


Quoting denise3680:



Quoting SallyMJ:

Do you mean lives of Syrians, or lives of Americans, for example in Chicago?

I agree that we need to work for structural change in families that make violent crime less likely.


Quoting denise3680:



Quoting gludwig2000:

I'm torn on this whole Syria thing, because while we are not the world's police, how do we stand by and watch such atrocities happen to helpless civilians, women and children? We can not afford another war, but can we afford to stand back and allow such to happen?

thing is we are standing by and watching kids being killed each and every day here in the United States and doing nothing about it, why should we worry about them enough to risk other the lives of our troops? 




You keep bringing up Chicago, Do you think that is the only city that young people are dying in?  You are blind of your hatred of Obama,since Chicago is all on your mind, Sally:/  Yes, I am talking about our children anywhere in the United States, we ignore thema nd then expect self responsibility, but cannot expect the same for another country, why is that?  Our arrogance, as Americans, allows to think that we know what is best for everyoneelse all while our country cannot agree on anything for ourselves.  That is the saddest thing of all.




you see, I tried having a civil debate with you but you take this personal, typical:/  Chicago has always been a high crime city, that is not new and neither did it start with Obama.  Washington D.C, Los Angelos, Richmond, Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, etc.... are also cities where alot of crime goes on, it gets ignored because the argument is always, especially with you guys, that it is Obama's fault.  That is simply not true and you know it.  Arrognace of Americans, hmmm I wonder how you got that I was talking about you and not an entire country, and you call me arrogant:/   Crime rise is a concern to me, but that concern did not just start with the Trayvon Martin trial.  

The part in red is your worst reply to date, it is not even worthy of a reply.  Now that was just dumb:/



sarahjz
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:31 PM
I wish we were not involved.
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I wish our leaders didn't go saber rattling and talk about "red lines" they have no intention of enforcing.

Makes us look stupid and weak.

If we did that in 1945, the Allies never would have defeated the Nazis. Can you imagine spilling the beans about the Normandy invasion??!


Quoting sarahjz:

I wish we were not involved.



kcangel63
by Amanda on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM
This is how I feel.

We will go in, and never leave. I'm pretty sure we have never left any country we have gone to war with, have we?


Quoting denise3680:




Quoting SallyMJ:

I don't know that I'd call it "war mongering" - since both parties do it.  i'd just say we may be overstepping what should be our foreign policy.



Quoting denise3680:

I hope we do not interfere in any other country over there, period.  We cannot afford to pay for another war.  I am sick and tired of this war mongering country always trying to pass our so called morals on other people.  Let them figure their own shit out, we have our own problems to fix right here.




I agree, I know it is both parties but I still feel we are a war mongering country.  I just hope we stay out of it



denise3680
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:

It's "civil" to denigrate America. OK.  I just suggested you live somewhere more to your liking. Totalitarian governments seem to better match your ideological standards. To each their own.

Au contraire. Chicago has not always had the highest crime rate in the country. But 60 years of liberal rule and more of corruption haven't helped.

Yes, most or all of the cities you mentioned have strict gun control laws and have been under primarily liberal rule for generations.

Obama has only been president for 5-1/2 years - just a drop in the bucket of years. Politicians can only be held responsible for the years they were in office - for O that would be during his presidency and in Illinois while he was US Senator and State Senator. 

It's flattering that you like to quote and highlight my comments  - I take it as a compliment.  :)

You have a great day.


Quoting denise3680:


Quoting SallyMJ:

Of course I bring up Chicago! - the most dangerous city in America - site of civil wars between citizens.

Why don't you bring it up yourself?

Doesn't knowing Chicago has the most murders - and the most black on black murders in the nation - concern you? Or are you interested in murders of only non-black people? Ironic how so many Chicago politicians want to run the country, but not their own city.

Any murder is the saddest thing of all - whether it is of an American or a foreigner.

My disagreement with Obama's values and policies is just freedom of speech. As are your disagreements with Bush. Disagreement and hate are two different things.

I only see one arrogant person in your rants - you. You might want to move to one of those totalitarian countries you like. They would love to have you and your tax revenue. Better than freedom any day, huh?  :)

Ha ha.


Quoting denise3680:

so saying the Americans are arrogant is an insult? Amazing I fit in just fine right here in America typical know it all wants everyone with a different opinion to leave so they pay each other on the back and feel food about their own opinions. Do not be flattered about the idiotic crap I highlighted Sally it is a shame you feel so goo about saying what you said. At least you stand by your idiocy I will give you that high crime is not partisan thing fresh you are partisan and biased. I know high crime cities change often depends on what is going on. There are many cities that very high crime happens they are brushed under the rug either for economic reasons or because the people who are dying no one cares about you keep harping on hoc ago but maybe t would be better to concentrate on all cities that crime is a problem
Quoting SallyMJ:

Do you mean lives of Syrians, or lives of Americans, for example in Chicago?

I agree that we need to work for structural change in families that make violent crime less likely.


Quoting denise3680:


Quoting gludwig2000:I'm torn on this whole Syria thing, because while we are not the world's police, how do we stand by and watch such atrocities happen to helpless civilians, women and children? We can not afford another war, but can we afford to stand back and allow such to happen?

thing is we are standing by and watching kids being killed each and every day here in the United States and doing nothing about it, why should we worry about them enough to risk other the lives of our troops? 





You keep bringing up Chicago, Do you think that is the only city that young people are dying in?  You are blind of your hatred of Obama,since Chicago is all on your mind, Sally:/  Yes, I am talking about our children anywhere in the United States, we ignore thema nd then expect self responsibility, but cannot expect the same for another country, why is that?  Our arrogance, as Americans, allows to think that we know what is best for everyoneelse all while our country cannot agree on anything for ourselves.  That is the saddest thing of all.





you see, I tried having a civil debate with you but you take this personal, typical:/  Chicago has always been a high crime city, that is not new and neither did it start with Obama.  Washington D.C, Los Angelos, Richmond, Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, etc.... are also cities where alot of crime goes on, it gets ignored because the argument is always, especially with you guys, that it is Obama's fault.  That is simply not true and you know it.  Arrognace of Americans, hmmm I wonder how you got that I was talking about you and not an entire country, and you call me arrogant:/   Crime rise is a concern to me, but that concern did not just start with the Trayvon Martin trial.  


The part in red is your worst reply to date, it is not even worthy of a reply.  Now that was just dumb:/




denise3680
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM
@sally my phone is acting up and it posted my Rey in a very weird way and did not correct my errors sorry if it is hard to read
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Hey there - I don't think it worked.

I want to hear what you have to say.


Quoting denise3680:

@sally my phone is acting up and it posted my Rey in a very weird way and did not correct my errors sorry if it is hard to read



denise3680
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:

Hey there - I don't think it worked.

I want to hear what you have to say.


Quoting denise3680:@sally my phone is acting up and it posted my Rey in a very weird way and did not correct my errors sorry if it is hard to read



it is there it posted in the middle o the rest of the things we wrote it starts with so saying Americans are arrogant
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